Name Change and Divorce in British Columbia

British Columbia Divorce > Divorce in British Columbia
Using your spouse's surname after marriage does not constitute or require a legal change of name under the Name Act of British Columbia. Likewise, after divorce you can use your maiden name again without applying for a legal change of name. According to the Name Act of British Columbia:

After marriage:
  • A spouse may use his or her surname before the marriage, by birth or adoption.
  • A spouse can also use the surname of his or her spouse by marriage.

After divorce:

  • You can use your original surname or maiden name again, and you do not need to apply for a legal change of name.

Using your Original Surname

It is helpful, although not required, to use both your current name and your future name on the divorce papers. This is ordinarily done by providing the future name that you intend to use on the divorce papers as an alias. We provide a place for an alternate name for each spouse on our BC Divorce Questionnaire, which can be used for this purpose.

When to Apply for a Legal Name Change

The Name Act of British Columbia only requires that you apply to change your name if you want a surname other than your surname by birth or adoption or by marriage. Further information regarding obtaining a legal name change can be found here: BC Vital Statistics.

Obtaining New Identification

You may be required to produce identification with your legal name such as a Birth Certificate together with linking documentation such as a Certificate of Marriage or Certificate of Divorce in order to change the name on identification such as your British Columbia driver's license. Further information regarding obtaining a driver's license in another name can be found here: ICBC - Driver Licensing.